The Need to Backup Your Files

A deluge flooded the living room of my apartment in Melbourne on Monday morning. The water came right through the light fitting in the centre of the ceiling. It was a good thing that I was there and that the light had not been turned on at the time. So with the guttering and downpipes now cleared of leaves (bit late, again, body corporate) and the carpet dried out I just have to wait for the ceiling to be re-plastered before I can move my possessions back in and return to a more normal life. Hopefully that will be by the middle of next week.

Actually I’m very lucky as my computer and all my external drives were sitting on a table in the adjoining room.

The flood caused me to move everything into a spare room. After a few days I became sick and tired of stepping over piles of DVD’s, external drives, photos, boxes and the like so I decided to have a big old clean up. It’s important to turn adversity into an opportunity, is it not?

Part of the clean up involves the reorganization of my digital files onto a single 1 or 2TB external drive. The data on this drive will then be regularly backed up onto a similarly sized external drive. A third drive will be stored at another location for regular (e.g. weekly) backups. As an alternative to the third external hard drive I’II investigate cloud storage options, the relative merits of which I’ll report on in due course.

It’s crazy to leave files, particularly image files, on your computer. They take up space on your computer’s hard drive and slow it down. If the drive on your computer is damaged, you may well lose all your files, including your precious photos. The back up external drive is essential in the event that the original external drive, where the images are stored, malfunctions. And, from my experience, it’s not a matter of if it happens, but when it happens. The third option (back up of the back up) is critical in the event of theft, earthquake, fire or, dare I say, flood.

It’s a huge job to organize files. I know I’ve undertaken the process on several occasions. This time, at least as far as Word, Powerpoint and digital camera originated files are concerned I should be well organized by the end of February. The process of scanning and filing many, many film-based images is a longer-term project.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy